Kansas is one of four finalists for Zion Griffin, a 6-foot-6 senior small forward from Hinsdale (Ill.) South High School, Griffin has reported on Twitter.
The 205-pound Griffin, who will visit KU on the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 Late Night in the Phog weekend, will attend either KU, Iowa State, Pitt or Illinois State. The KU visit will serve as his final visit.
“I talked with my mom and family to see what they thought was best, but I also just thought of where I can see myself over the next several years,” Griffin told the Chicago Sun Times after narrowing his list of prospective schools. “The relationship with the coaching staff was the biggest thing. When I leave my mom, the coaches become almost like a parent to you, so that was important to me. And I want to make an impact wherever I go.”
Griffin, who exploded onto the national recruiting scene by scoring 42 and 31 points for the Illinois Hoopers this summer in AAU games against Howard Pulley and Boo Williams, is ranked No. 99 in the recruiting class of 2018 by Rivals.com.
“I will be looking at all the things that I used to narrow my list down — the relationship with the coaching staffs, how my mom and family feel, having a chance to compete at a high level, where I can go and make an impact, where I can see myself –– in making my final decision,” Griffin told the Sun Times.
Of Griffin, Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi said: “It’s hard to believe, but Griffin was mostly unknown until the mid-point of July. A big-time vertical athlete with a dangerous lefty jump shot from deep, Griffin is anonymous no more.”
Other players from the Chicago area being recruited by KU this school year: No. 22-ranked Ayo Dosunmu, a 6-4 senior from Chicago Morgan Park High School, alma mater of KU sophomore Charlie Moore; No. 103-ranked Talen Horton-Tucker, a 6-5 senior from Chicago Simeon; and unranked Jermaine Couisnard, a 6-4 combo guard originally from East Chicago Central High in East Chicago, Ind., now at Florida’s Montverde Academy.
KU has received a commitment from junior-to-be Markese Jacobs, a 5-11 point guard formerly of Chicago Uplift High who is now at Hillcrest Prep in Phoenix.
Duke favored to win it all
At least one oddsmaker believes the late-summer addition of Marvin Bagley to the Duke roster makes the Blue Devils the clear-cut favorite to win the 2018 NCAA basketball championship.
Duke’s odds of claiming the national title went from 12-1 without 6-foot-10, 220-pound power forward Bagley to 3-1 on Monday night following his commitment to the Blue Devils, according to Westgate Las Vegas Superbook (as reported by CBSsports.com).
Kentucky has the next best odds at 8-1, followed by Michigan State (10-1) and Kansas (12-1). Wichita State is 30-1, Missouri 40-1 and Kansas State 300-1.
Bagley, who has decided to forego his senior year at Sierra Canyon High in Chatsworth, Calif., and reclassify from 2018 to 2017, on Monday chose Duke over USC, UCLA, KU, Kentucky and Arizona.
Duke soon will jump from No. 5 to No. 1 in ESPN.com’s preseason rankings, ESPN.com’s Myron Metcalf wrote Tuesday. In ESPN’s last rankings, which came out in May, Arizona was ranked No. 1 followed by Kansas, Michigan State, Kentucky and Duke. ESPN did not issue an updated top 25 on Tuesday.
“One can make a legitimate case that Bagley is the best prospect to come out of high school since Anthony Davis in 2011,” wrote Jeff Borzello of ESPN.com. “Coincidentally, Bagley’s decision marks only the second time since 2007 that No. 1 prospects have gone to the same school in consecutive years. Harry Giles was the No. 1 prospect a year ago. He spent one season at Duke before heading to the NBA. The previous pair were Kentucky’s Davis and Nerlens Noel (who also reclassified) in 2011 and 2012.”
Bagley is joined by Trevon Duval, Wendell Carter and Gary Trent in a stellar recruiting class. Duke also returns Grayson Allen and Marques Bolden.
Bagley now must wait for the NCAA to rule on his initial eligibility. After completing a summer class, Bagley will submit his high school transcript for review. According to CBSsports.com, he’s attended three high schools in as many years and also was home-schooled for a time. Bagley also spent some time at Hillcrest Prep in Arizona. That school, according to CBSsports.com, has had issues regarding athletes meeting the NCAA’s core course requirements.
CBS also has Duke ascending to No. 1 in its preseason poll, followed by Arizona, KU, Michigan State and Wichita State.
Porter still No. 1 in draft
Missouri’s Michael Porter will be the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, just ahead of No. 2 Bagley, according to Jonathan Givony, who issued a mock first round for ESPN.com on Tuesday.
Mitchell Robinson, a 7-footer who is considering attending Kansas one season before entering the NBA Draft, is projected the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft. KU senior Svi Mykhailiuk is projected to be taken as the No. 3 pick of the second round and senior Devonté Graham the sixth pick of round two. KU sophomore Udoka Azubuike and freshman Billy Preston were not included in the 2018 draft.
Williamson No. 1 in 2018
Zion Williamson moved from No. 2 to No. 1 Tuesday in ESPN.com’s class of 2018 high school prospect rankings, following news that Bagley would move to the 2017 class.
Williamson, a 6-6, 230-pound senior forward from Spartanburg (S.C.) Day School, has Kansas on his list of schools.
KU recruiting analyzed by Bossi
Rivals.com’s Eric Bossi on Tuesday commented on KU losing out on Bagley.
“The reality is that Kansas was seen as the least likely destination for Bagley so this one doesn’t hurt too badly. It won’t hurt at all if the Jayhawks can land 2017 five-star Mitchell Robinson — who visited over the weekend — later this week and find a way to avoid him having to sit out the year after leaving Western Kentucky. Without Robinson or Bagley the Jayhawks have a rotation short on bigs for 2017-18 but they’ll deal with it.
“The key is a big 2018 class where Kansas is looking to sign as many as six players. Point guards Devon Dotson, Immanuel Quickley and Ayo Dosunmu, combo guard Quentin Grimes, shooting guard Romeo Langford, forward Zion Williamson and bigs Emmitt Williams, Moses Brown and David McCormack are just few of their many high-profile targets,” Bossi wrote.